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Economic Data

Welcome to the ‘Economic Data’ section of Insight DIY, which includes a summary of all of the key UK economic indicators that you may need to know within your business. Each of these key indicators are updated as and when they are released by their various sources and provide a really valuable addition to any monthly report or business overview.

UK Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

Gross Domestic Product

Main points

- UK gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 0.4% in the three months to October 2018

- GDP growth was driven mainly by the services sector, though the production and construction sectors were also positive contributors

- Rolling three-month growth continued to slow slightly after a strong summer

- GDP growth was 0.1% in October 2018

- Services sector rolling three-month growth in October 2018 was driven by accounting and computer programming

- Rolling three-month growth was flat in the manufacturing industries

- Construction growth fell back slightly from the high growth in July 2018

Release Date: 10th December 2018
Next Release Date: 11th January 2019

Preliminary, second and final estimates of GDP released over a quarter as more data becomes available. The final estimate is published in the Quarterly National Accounts. GDP is the main measure of UK economic growth based on the value of goods and services produced during a given period.

Source: Office for National Statistics

UK Construction Purchasing Managers' Index (Markit and CIPS)

Markit logo

Index: 53.4 November 2018
Previous month: 53.2 - October 2018

Key findings:

  • Solid expansion of overall construction output
  • Residential work reclaims its place as best performing area of construction activity
  • Job creation accelerates to its fastest since December 2015

The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) Construction Purchasing Manager's Index (PMI) is a diffusion index incorporating survey results provided by construction firms throughout the country. A reading above fifty suggests the construction sector is expanding, while a reading below fifty suggests the construction sector is in contraction. Policymakers and traders watch these surveys closely as purchasing managers usually have early access to data about their company’s performance, rather than waiting for the hard data to emerge.

Publication date: 4th December 2018
Next publication date: 3rd January 2019

Source: 
Markit Economics

Nationwide House Price Index

House Prices

November Monthly Index*: 429.2  (October: 427.8)
Monthly Change*: 0.3% (October +0.0%)
Annual Change: 1.9% (October: 1.6%)
November Average Price: £214,044 (not seasonally adjusted) (October £214,534)

* Seasonally adjusted figure (note that monthly % changes are revised when seasonal adjustment factors are re-estimated)

Key Findings

  • Annual house price growth edges up to 1.9% 
  • Modest 0.3% increase month-on-month 
  • Net additions to housing stock just 0.6% below 2007 level 

Commenting on the figures, Robert Gardner, Nationwide's Chief Economist, said: 

“While house price growth picked up a little in November, it remained relatively subdued at 1.9%, up from 1.6% the previous month.

“Looking forward, much will depend on how broader economic conditions evolve. In the near term, the squeeze on household budgets and the uncertain economic outlook is likely to continue to dampen demand, even though borrowing costs remain low and the unemployment rate is near 40-year lows.

“If the uncertainty lifts in the months ahead and employment continues to rise, there is scope for activity to pick-up through next year. The squeeze on household incomes is already moderating and policymakers have signalled that, if the economy performs as they expect, interest rates are only expected to rise at a modest pace and to a limited extent in the years ahead."

Release Date: 30th November 2018
Next Release Date: 4th January 2019

Nationwide are the world's largest building society and one of the UK's largest mortgage providers. They have the longest unbroken run of house price data, stretching back to 1952 on a quarterly basis and 1991 on a monthly basis. Here you can access their monthly and quarterly house price reports, special features and download data series. 

Source: Nationwide House Price Index

GfK Consumer Confidence Barometer

Consumer Confidence Index

Monthly Index: -13
Previous Month's Index: -10
Monthly Index Previous Year: -12
Period: November 2018

Joe Staton, Client Strategy Director at GfK, comments:

Joe Staton, Client Strategy Director at GfK, says: 

“Against a backdrop of the Chancellor telling everyone that the Brexit deal on the table will make people worse off, this month we’re recording an across the board fall for all measures with concerns over household finances, the general economy and purchase intentions.

"The measure that fell the most is our Major Purchase Index, with a seven-point plunge that is unhappy news for retailers. The view on the general economy in the coming 12 months fell four points, as did the perception of the past year’s personal finances.

"Overall, we are now back at the -13 level we saw at the end of last year. The next few weeks are highly unlikely to inject any festive cheer, especially if Theresa May’s Brexit deal doesn’t win backing from MPs. The denouement to more than two years of bewildering Brexit wheeler-dealing looks like it will be enacted precisely when many consumers would prefer to be thinking of a well-earned Christmas break, filled with family get-togethers, warmth and festivity - possibly turning this year’s ‘season of goodwill’ into ‘the season of uncertainty’."

UK Consumer Confidence Measures – November 2018

The Overall Index Score in November 2018 is -13, with all five measures decreasing.

Personal Financial Situation

The index measuring changes in personal finances during the last 12 months has decreased four points this month to -3; this is two points lower than at the same point last year.

The forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months has decreased one  point to +3 this month; this is one point higher than November 2017.

General Economic Situation

The measure for the General Economic Situation of the country during the last 12 months has dropped one point to -29 this month; this is three points higher than November 2017. 

Expectations for the General Economic Situation over the next 12 months have decreased four points to -32; this is four points lower than November 2017. 

Major Purchase Index

The Major Purchase Index decreased seven points in November to -3; this is at the same level as November 2017.   

Savings Index

The Savings Index has stayed at the same level this month at +12; this is four points higher than this time last year. 

Release Date: 30th November 2018
Next Release Date: 31st December 2018

Source: GfK

NHBC - New Build Statistics/New Registrations

NHBC flag

Total Registrations (Rolling Qtr August to October 2018): 42,307 
Total Registrations (Rolling Qtr August to October 2017): 39,625
Percentage Change: +7%.

Private Sector Registrations (Rolling Qtr August to October 2018): 32,565
Private Sector Registrations (Rolling Qtr August to October 2017): 30,871
Percentage Change: +5%

Public and Affordable Sector Registrations (Rolling Qtr August to October 2018): 9,742
Public and Affordable Sector Registrations (Rolling Qtr August to October 2017): 8,754
Percentage Change: +11%

Commenting on the October figures, NHBC Chief Executive Steve Wood said: “Despite a slow start to the year because of the extreme weather conditions, it is very pleasing to report that the upturn in registrations we saw over the summer is continuing.

“Although there is some caution as we all wait to see what happens on Brexit, we are hopeful that this strong end to the year will be maintained, as the industry strives to build more new, high-quality homes that the UK needs.”

Release Date: 30th November 2018
Next Release: 31st December 2018

Source: NHBC

NHBC is the leading warranty and insurance provider for new homes in the UK and its registration statistics are a lead indicator for the new homes market.

UK Retail Sales

Retail Sales

Main points:

In the three months to October 2018, the quantity bought in retail sales increased by 0.4% when compared with the previous three months; a slowdown to growth when compared with the strong summer sales, which reached a high of 2.3% in the three months to July.

In October 2018, the quantity bought fell by 0.5% when compared with September 2018, with a strong decline of 3.0% in household goods stores following a particularly strong August and September.

When compared with the previous year, the quantity bought in October 2018 increased by 2.2%, with growth across all sectors except fuel, which fell by 1.8%.

The year-on-year average store price for fuel continued to increase in October 2018 to 11.4%; this is the 26th consecutive month to show an increase.

Online sales as a total of all retailing increased to 18.0% from the 17.7% reported in September 2018, with textile, clothing and footwear stores continuing a record proportion of online sales at 18.2%; this was despite a fall in total retail spending in this sector.

Period: October 2018

Released: 15th November 2018
Next Release Date: 20th December 2018

This bulletin presents estimates of the quantity bought (volume) and amount spent (value) in the retail industry for the four-week period 30 September 2018 to 27 October 2018.

Unless otherwise stated, the estimates in this release are seasonally adjusted.

Source: Office for National Statistics

 

UK Consumer Price Index (CPI)

CPIH image

Main points:

  • The Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) 12-month inflation rate was 2.2% in October 2018, unchanged from September 2018.
  • The large downward contributions to the change in the 12-month rate from food and non-alcoholic beverages, clothing and footwear, and some transport elements were offset by upward contributions from rising petrol, diesel and domestic gas prices.

  • Other smaller upward contributions came from items in the miscellaneous goods and services, recreation and culture, and communication sectors.

  • The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) 12-month rate was 2.4% in October 2018, unchanged from September 2018.

Release Date: 14th November 2018
Next Release: 19th December 2018

Price indices, percentage changes and weights for the different measures of consumer price inflation. 

Source: Office for National Statistics

UK Producer Price Inflation (PPI)

Producer Price Index

Main points:  

  •  The headline rate of output inflation for goods leaving the factory gate was 3.3% on the year to October 2018, up from 3.1% in September 2018.
  • The growth rate of prices for materials and fuels used in the manufacturing process slowed to 10.0% on the year to October 2018, from 10.5% in September 2018.

  • All product groups provided upward contributions to output and input annual inflation, for the second consecutive month.

  • Petroleum and crude oil provided the largest contribution to both the annual and monthly rates of inflation for output and input inflation respectively.

Release Date: 14th November 2018
Next Release: 19th December 2018

Source: Office for National Statistics

UK Labour Market

Unemployment office

Unemployment rate: 4.1% (July to September 2018) 

Main points

  • Estimates from the Labour Force Survey show that, between April to June 2018 and July to September 2018, the number of people in work and the number of unemployed people both increased but the number of people aged from 16 to 64 years not working and not seeking nor available to work (economically inactive) was little changed.

  • There were 32.41 million people in work, 23,000 more compared with April to June 2018 and 350,000 more than for a year earlier.

  • The employment rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 years who were in work) was 75.5%, little changed compared with April to June 2018 but higher than for a year earlier (75.0%).

  • There were 1.38 million unemployed people (people not in work but seeking and available to work), 21,000 more than for April to June 2018 but 43,000 fewer than for a year earlier.

  • The unemployment rate (the number of unemployed people as a proportion of all employed and unemployed people) was 4.1%, slightly higher than for April to June 2018 but lower than for a year earlier (4.3%).

  • There were 8.74 million people aged from 16 to 64 years who were economically inactive (not working and not seeking nor available to work), little changed compared with April to June 2018 but 147,000 fewer than for a year earlier.

  • The economic inactivity rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 years who were economically inactive) was 21.2%, unchanged compared with April to June 2018 but lower than for a year earlier (21.6%).

  • Latest estimates show that average weekly earnings for employees in Great Britain in nominal terms (that is, not adjusted for price inflation) increased by 3.2% excluding bonuses, and by 3.0% including bonuses, compared with a year earlier.

  • Latest estimates show that average weekly earnings for employees in Great Britain in real terms (that is, adjusted for price inflation) increased by 0.9% excluding bonuses, and by 0.8% including bonuses, compared with a year earlier.

Period covered: July to September 2018

Publication date: 13th November 2018
Next publication date: 11th December 2018

The level and rate of UK unemployment measured by the Labour Force Survey (LFS) using a definition of unemployment specified by the International Labour Organisation. Unemployed people as those without a job who have been actively seeking work in the past 4 weeks and are available to start work in the next 2 weeks. It also includes those who are out of work but have found a job and are waiting to start it in the next 2 weeks.

Source: Office for National Statistics

BRC - KPMG Retail Sales Monitor

Retail Sales image

October 2018

  • On a total basis, sales increased 1.3% in October, against an increase of 0.2% in October 2017. This is above the 3-month average of 1.1%, but below the 12-month average of 1.4%.
  • In October, UK retail sales increased by 0.1% on a like-for-like basis from October 2017, when they had decreased 1.0% from the preceding year.
  • Over the three months to October, In-store sales of Non-Food items declined 2.0% on a Total basis and 3.3% on a Like-for-like basis. This is above the 12-month Total average decline of 2.4%.
  • Over the three months to October, Food sales increased 1.2% on a like-for-like basis and 2.3% on a total basis. This is below the 12-month Total average growth of 3.5%.
  • Over the three-months to October, Non-Food retail sales in the UK decreased 1.0% on a like-for-like basis and increased 0.1% on a Total basis. This above the 12-month Total average decrease of 0.2%. October Non-Food sales saw growth for the first time in 4 months.
  • Online sales of Non-Food products grew 7.6% in October, against a growth of 4.0% in October 2017, the lowest growth of 2017. This is above the 3-month and 12-month averages of 6.7% and 7.4% respectively. Online penetration rate increased from 25.7% to 27.6% in October 2018.

Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief-Executive | British Retail Consortium

"Overall, retail sales growth remains low by historical standards. Sales in October saw only a slight uplift on the previous year, as cautious consumer spending continues into the final quarter of the year.

"Brighter weather and the anticipation of better deals in the Black Friday November sales have dampened demand for discretionary purchases. Moreover, low real wage growth over an extended period has left consumers with less money in their pocket, squeezing retailers’ margins in the face of higher costs.

"Furthermore, the very real possibility of a no-deal Brexit presents a huge challenge for retailers who must contend with the prospect of higher import prices, and further drops to consumer demand. Time is running out and it is essential that the Government, the EU and the UK Parliament come to an agreement on the backstop and delivers a Brexit deal detail which gives confidence to both consumers and retailers, and avoids squeezing real wages further."

Paul Martin, Head of Retail, KPMG

“October kicks off the all-important golden quarter, with some retailers earning the majority of their annual profits in these months alone. But with October’s like-for-like sales flat lining at 0.1%, it was a bit of a non-starter.

“Demand was mainly dampened by continued economic uncertainty, as well as the anticipation for the deep discounting ahead – especially now that Black Friday weekend has become such a permanent feature.

“Grocery sales – which have been a ray of light – actually showed signs of restraint. However, clothing sales were more promising, with the colder weather towards the end of the month prompting a wardrobe rethink.

“The Budget highlighted efforts to relieve some of the pressures on the high street, but didn’t go far enough to address the concerns of many retailers. With the potential implications of a hard Brexit added to the mix, retailers now need to juggle contingency planning alongside the busiest time of year.”

Food & Drink sector performance | Jon Woolven, Strategy and Innovation Director | IGD

“After a strong run earlier this year, food and grocery sales have settled into a new pattern of modest growth, broadly in line with inflation. The run up to Halloween delivered its usual boost, on a similar scale to previous years.  

“At this critical stage in the Brexit process, shopper confidence is in the balance. The number expecting their personal finances to deteriorate has risen over the last month to 29% from 28%, but those anticipating higher food prices have fallen to 77% from 81%.”

Release Date: 6th November 2018
Next Release Date: 6th December 2018

Source: BRC

Bank of England: Bank Rate

Current bank rate: 0.75%
Previous bank rate: 0.75%

Release date: 1st November 2018
Next release date: 20th December 2018

Source : Bank of England

 

 

UK Population Figures

UK Census

UK population: 66,040,229 (30th June 2017 estimate)
UK population: 65,648,100 (mid 2016 estimates)
Percentage change: +0.6%

2016 Data:

Male: 32.4 million (49.3%)
Female: 33.0 million (50.7%)

Estimated population of England: 55,268,100 (84.2% of the UK’s population)
Estimated population of Scotland: 5,404,700 (8.2% of the UK’s population)
Estimated population of Wales: 3,113,200 (4.7% of the UK’s population)
Estimated population of Northern Ireland: 1,862,100 (2.8% of the UK’s population)

Mid-year population estimates relate to the usually resident population. They account for long-term international migrants (people who change their country of usual residence for a period of 12 months or more) but do not account for short-term migrants (people who come to or leave the country for a period of less than 12 months). This approach is consistent with the standard UN definition for population estimates which is based upon the concept of usual residence and includes people who reside, or intend to reside, in the country for at least twelve months, whatever their nationality.

Data last updated: 28th June 2018

Next Update: June 2019

Source: ONS

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Insight DIY always publishes the latest news stories before anyone else and we find it to be an invaluable source of customer and market information.

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Max Crosby Browne - CEO, Home Decor
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